CHICAGO, United States of America, Oct 13 – Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono outkicked Ethiopia’s Dejene Debela to win the Chicago Marathon men’s title with a dip in the final few metres to cut the tape in 2:05:45.
The opening pace was solid as a lead pack of nine men – including Boston Marathon champion Cherono, defending champion Mo Farah and Olympic bronze medallist Galen Rupp – reached 10km in 29:27.
Shortly after, the group started to break up with Rupp, Farah and Abdi Bashir falling behind, leaving just six men together at 15km (44:10) – Kenya’s Cherono, Dickson Chumba and Bedan Karoki and Ethiopian trio Dejene Debela, Asefe Mengstu and Seifu Tura.
The lead pack of six ran together for another 15 kilometres, passing the half-way point in 1:02:14 before reaching 30km in 1:28:58, their pace now indicating a finishing time just outside 2:05.
Further back, Abdi had passed a struggling Farah and was running alone in seventh place.
Once the pace makers had dropped out, Karoki tried to dictate the pace and Chumba was unable to sustain it for much longer, leaving five men in the lead pack.
Tura was the next to exit the lead pack, leaving Debela, Mengstu, Baroki and Cherono in the hunt for the podium places as they passed 40km in 1:59:08.
Behind them, Abdi was finishing strongly and had made up 37 seconds on the lead quartet over the course of the previous five kilometres. With just two kilometres left, though, the Belgian had left himself with too much work to do.
-Karoki fades out
Karoki faded out of contention before the final turn, leaving Cherono, Debela and Mengstu to sprint for victory with the finish line in sight. Cherono emerged victorious in 2:05:45, winning by just one second from Debela. Mengstu was a close third in 2:05:48.
Karoki placed fourth in 2:05:53, just holding off Abdi, who was fifth in a Belgian record of 2:06:14. Further back, Tura was sixth (2:08:35) and Chumba seventh (2:09:11) with Farah placing eighth in 2:09:58.